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People's Park: Resources from The Bancroft Library

May 1969
May 16th: The National Guard was deployed in Berkeley, tasked with maintaining the perimeter of People's Park and quelling any disturbances with roving foot patrols. Several marches and demonstrations were attempted by park supporters in the days following, but were quickly quelled and multiple people arrested.

May 19th: 25-year old James Rector, a bystander in the Bloody Thursday riot, died of his wounds sustained during that conflict.

May 20th: UC Berkeley faculty held a vigil for James Rector in Sproul Plaza, and the gathering swelled to over 3000 participants. When the crowd attempted to march through the city, the campus was sealed off by law enforcement and a National Guard helicopter sprayed tear gas over Sproul Plaza. Its cloud spread to residential and business districts in Berkeley, affecting schools and hospitals as well.

May 22nd: At UC Berkeley, a student referendum on People’s Park was held on May 22, and 85% voted to preserve the community space. A subsequent march through Berkeley resulted in a mass arrest of over 450 people.

May 23rd: UC Berkeley's Academic Senate voted 642 to 95 for the immediate removal of the troops from Berkeley, the dismantling of the fence surrounding People’s Park, and the continuation of the community-based Park.

May 29th: The Berkeley City Council voted 5-4 to offer to lease the plot from campus.

May 30th: On Memorial Day, over 25,000 people peacefully march in Berkeley in support of the Park.

May 31st: After rebuffing numerous earlier proposals for People's Park, UC Berkeley Chancellor Roger Heyns publicly backs the City Of Berkley's offer to lease the Park, a move that is strongly supported by students, faculty, and local residents.

June 1969
June 2nd: Reassured by the peaceful Memorial Day march, Governor Reagan ends the state of extreme emergency and withdraws the National Guard from Berkeley.

June 20th: Despite enormous support and multiple proposals to ensure the existence of the Park, campus officials remained unswayed. The UC Board of Regents voted to build a playing field and parking lot on the site, specifically denying its use as a community park.